Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020
Originally, gas stations were supposed to be EMV compliant by October 2017, but that deadline was pushed to October 2020. This extra time was allowed in order to accommodate the complexities of updating and replacing fuel pumps. Now, considering the massive and mounting challenges merchants face due to COVD-19, that deadline has been pushed back once again; this time, merchants will have until April 2021 before Visa imposes a fraud liability shift for those that are noncompliant.
Installing in-pump EMV card readers
The good news is that many gas stations and convenience stores with fuel pumps are well on their way to installing in-pump EMV card readers. According to a new survey from Conexxus Inc., 31% of c-stores report not having any pump EMV-ready, which is down from 52% in the spring and 70% last year.
However, the bad news is that while 61% of respondents are on track to be 100% compliant by the new deadline, 39% say they will not. Looking at the numbers more closely, it seems that c-store chains with more than 50 locations are the most on board so far. Surprisingly, the slowest to transition are the largest chains with more than 500 locations. Medium-size chains with between 51 and 200 locations are also lagging behind.
As per the study, 33% of the largest c-store chains say they currently have no working EMV readers at the pump. 66.7% have installed EMV at less than 25% of their pumps. Among the medium-sized chains, 46% reported having installed EMV readers at less than 25% of their pumps and 23% have yet to start the process.
Managing director for Conexxus, Linda Toth, explains the current situation: “The myriad combination of equipment makes implementation more complex, because no one vendor can provide a single solution,” Toth says. “It seemed like the industry was starting to get a handle on the issue during the first quarter of 2020, but since Covid-19 there has been a pullback.”
The restrictions and shelter-in-place orders quickly stalled progress as it sidelined a significant number of EMV technicians. Of course, this quickly backed up deployment.
“It also slowed application development and certification,” Toth adds. “Even with businesses returning to work, there remains a slowdown from the shadow Covid has cast.”
When asked why they are experiencing delays, merchants gave a number of reasons:
- 30% of merchants cited lack of software as a primary reason for their delay,
- 27% said a lack of certification for their EMV applications,
- 13% cited lack of hardware.
- 27% pointed to the complexity of deployment,
- And 34% said it was due to a myriad of reasons, from cash flow management concerns to COVID-19.
Toth went on to say that cost and justification continue to be a problem. The price to install EMB can be as high as $40,000 once loyalty, fleet card and third-party marketing/discount programs are added on. “With the economic uncertainty right now, a lot of c-stores are unsure how they will pay for EMV and small c-store operators don’t have the profits to put into it.”
According to Toth, the key to encouraging merchants to move forward has been explaining the impact fraud can have on their business if they fail to become EMV-compliant. If your business needs help getting started, you can find more information via the experts at Best Payment Providers. Find everything you need to choose the right payment processing providers and stay up-to-date on the latest EMV news.